You’re a Cranky Little Man

It’s no surprise I’ve been cranky over the last few days, or especially since my last post. Thanks so much for all of the comments and words of encouragement. That really meant a lot to me.

I got so wrapped in a fog of depression that I physically got sick. Don’t worry, it’s not a clinical issue, sometimes you just get so…..so……BLAGGHHHH about something you shut down in little ways. Maybe its defense? Who knows. But two days of nausea and two days of lethargy just pissed me off even more. I’ve got work to do! I don’t have time to be all wrapped up in a shroud of anger and being pissy!

So we all become reminded of those little sayings we hear often. The one that came to mind this time was, “You cannot control what happens to you, however you can control your reaction to it.” Sounds wonderful….in theory. But, in practice? You can only do your best. Human relations are based on nothing BUT reaction. We are responsive creatures. And perhaps we use too much instinct rather than foresight before we react, we still nonetheless react. And if the party in question to which you want to unleash your anger is unavailable, you have a tiny tendency to unleash all that crap on yourself.

So, here I am. In a spot in my life that is a long time coming. The overhaul that I’ve hinted at, wanted, yearned for, but never actually pursued because I was chained to the past, chained to an emotional strain that kept me guarded and insecure. A chain that also made me feel like I wasn’t valuable enough to pursue the life I wanted, only fortified by the comments I heard time and time again throughout my life. “You can be anything in life you want,” they would say, “….except yourself.”

Well, screw it. Those days are over. As well they should be. Time to move on. Time to cut, dissect and breathe free. Time to act on those changes I desire, not dream about them, not close my eyes and wish hopefully about tomorrow, but make active changes today. And why can’t I be a success? And why can’t I start today? Who is stopping me? I have patterns to sell, books to sell, and this blog must mean something to someone. There are a million things I can do right now, right this second, today. I can knit (well, I need to knit because I have orders that need to go out this week), but I can knit some more! I can write, I can smile, dammit! I can use the resources I have at my disposal, the one’s God handed me HIMSELF, to make my life better, to make my TODAY a helluva lot better than yesterday.

The past and my desire to know the truth used to be what held me back. Now the only excuse I have for not being the success I want to be is little ol’ me.

(whew! I feel better.) Now let’s sell some bundles! Come on! You know you want one!

If you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

My Real Name Is….

I promised I would blog more later today. I’ve had some lunch, gotta cup of coffee with me, sitting here ready to write about the ups and downs of the last few days.

I’ve had a shitty, emotional ride over the last two days. Do you remember my blog and how the weather was chilly, so I had made some soup and was gonna bundle up and knit? You would have thought that would have been a perfect situation that anyone who loves their needles would have yearned for.

However, I had some issues with my family that erupted, and without going into too much detail, was wrecked….once again. And this is the issue I have with my family. Someone is lying to me. Not sure who, not sure which side of the story to believe, but will confess with all honesty, that the story itself, the lie being perpetuated has caused such a shredding of the heart in the last 20 years that I have moved further and further away from my family with every year that passes. I’m not sure who to believe, so I believe none of them, and prefer to walk away and resign myself to not going back ever again.

I told one of them on the phone the day before yesterday, “My life works best when none of you are around. If it’s not your criticism of the decisions I’ve made in life, then it’s the inability to tell the truth about what happened when I was a kid. But, that incident keeps haunting me….and I can’t go forward if every time I turn around I hear another version of what happened, but still with no one telling me the truth. So, I need all of you to go. And I need you to go for good.”

Carol sent me an email asking, what some of you have asked before. “Your name is Gregory Patrick, but I’m making payments to Gregory Johnson???”

Yes. My real name is Gregory Patrick Johnson. Sometime ago I wanted to distance myself from my family so I dropped the Johnson and used my middle name as my surname. Simple as that. One day I’ll have the money to change it legally. But, for now, its a method of symbolism. Only the bank and government refer to me as Gregory Johnson.

And people ask, why haven’t you finished “Will Knit For Food,” the sequel to your last book? Because I still don’t have the truth I need to finish it. In order to go forward with that book, I don’t need to know more about the past, I need to know the truth.

I tried to phone a friend. I needed to talk, needed to get advice, talk. Just talk. With so few friends, there was no one around, so all of this crap just kinda stewed in my head, cooked for too long, sat stagnant and got rancid, and this harrowing feeling of loneliness decided to keep me company. I hate that feeling. Because it causes this ridiculous lie to build in your head. You lose sight of your goals, you distrust food, you don’t approve of the rules of hygiene, and you look for methods of escape. For me? Binging on pointless, mindless reruns on my laptop. Hence the South Park marathon I had yesterday while eating a bag of corn chips. Sooooo not my style.

IMG_1078Then randomly, out of no where the post man delivered a huge bag. When I tore it open, skeins of all sorts of wonderful yarn fell out. Amazing, hand dyed yarn. A gift. From out of the universe fell in my lap the biggest smile you could have ever seen on my face. I spread the yarn out on my bed and just watched my little mind grow big with possibilities. I gingerly put the skeins with the rest of my stash, grabbed the cat, gave her a noogie (yeah, she loves them), turned off the South Park marathon and went on about my work. (oh, that mound UNDER the blanket is Mario. It’s 70 degrees and she, apparently, is a little chilly).

I know that I don’t have ONE person to talk to when needed, I have 10,000. So I come here to talk. This is why I blog so much and often about personal things. All of you out there (that I keep so close in here) are the one’s I share my life with.

Someone once asked me why I started my blog and I could only respond, “Because I needed to talk to someone….”

I thought about something I have always realized, but sometimes you need to tack to your ass on a Post-It Note when your head gets too far up your butt:

If you’re going to be strong in this life, if you’re going to pursue the hopes and dreams that wake you brightly in the morning with, if you’re going to find clarity, then it is necessary in life to push away all things that hurt you. ALL things. You must hold tightly to those things that bring a full heart, a charitable sense of human connection, and a sense of selfless purpose. You MUST.

IMG_1077My chocolate and cream bear is still up for adoption, which makes me nervous. Over the last couple of months, my ready made bears would be gone in a heartbeat. 10 minutes at most…..now, they’re taking days. I know I have a reputation for not delivering fast enough on the made to order bears from last spring. I know that. I read the posts. I read the comments. I spy on facebook on occasion and read the anger. I’m aware of it. All I can say is I’m trying my best. I really am.

But the bears I’ve been making lately are ready to go. Ready to be held and adored. Ready to be loved, ready to find new homes and new possibilities wherever they may go. Ready to find their new futures.

….I guess I am, too.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

 

 

Chocolate and Cream

IMG_1077I made up this little guy last night with that really nice Wool Ease from Lionbrand in Cocoa. It’s the perfect teddy bear brown. He measures 12″ tall is ready to ship and comes with a signed card by me.

I have a lot of updating to do, so much has been happening on my end. Some bad, some good. I’ll write more about it later, but for the moment, it’s just shy before 9am in Central Florida and I was going to go ahead and get this little guy adopted. If you’d like to snag him, click here or on the picture.

The pattern for the bear is also included in my book and pattern bundle. Ok, gotta get some errands done, but I will be blogging later. Have a great day!

If you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

The Chills

Ok, so I imagine no one in the country is safe from the chill these last few days. Even here in Central Florida, we’re feeling the brisk burn of the cold winds. Ok, so it’s not AS bad as other places, but you do feel a definite pinch in the butt when the temp goes from 85 (like it was yesterday) to 45 (which it is right now).

We’re awfully lucky this far south. It’ll only last a day or two before we creep back up into the tropical 70’s. However, in the meantime, you do start to make preparation for the coming cold with dusty sweaters hidden in your closet, recipes for warming, brothy soups, and outside fire pits (if you have one).

IMG_1071Now, I was sure I was going to need an extra blanket. With money tight, I spied my stash and all the lovely yarn people have sent me over the last year. Jennie Owens sent me a box a couple of months ago with some amazing afghan yarn. Dude….perfect….PERFECT. All it took was a mere two days of going round and round in a massive giant granny square to whip up my extra blanket to keep warm under. It came out rather nice. Browns, blues, greys, masculine. And obviously, Mario seems to really like it too.

IMG_1073SO! We’re all prepped up for the next two days. No need to leave the cozy confines of my tiny apartment. I’ve made chicken soup from scratch, I’ve got my extra blanket to cuddle under, got the second season of American Horror Story to watch. Got my knitting needles, gonna whip out some teddy bears :) Yes, I’m busy still getting as many orders out before Christmas, and the weather is just PERFECT for knitting up a storm.

Gonna be a nice two days of comfortable productivity :) Ya’ll stay warm!

If you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

 

 

 

A Week with a Friend

As many of you know, Butch was here this last week visiting from Wyoming. Butch has grown VERY fond of Pho, so wherever he goes, he has to find a place to try local pho. (I could have tried harder and made that last sentence haiku).

IMG_1015As luck would have it, there is an amazing Pho restaurant just a block from here, so we popped in there probably 4 times throughout the week. If you’ve never had Pho, you’re missing out. A huge bowl of broth and noodles for cheap…..and RARELY can you finish the whole bowl. You get nice and warm and full.

 

IMG_1020We also went out to a new arcade that just opened around the corner. I have a fondness for air hockey, so we popped in some quarters and spent a good chunk of one afternoon slamming the puck across the table. Great time. I wont 2 out of 3 games. I felt like a freakin’ 15 year old.

We also went to the Science Center just up the road where I go such a massive case of vertigo in the dome cinema that I had to pull my hat down over my eyes and wait for the film to be over.

IMG_1036But, I have to say most of the week we rested and enjoyed the warm weather whilst I knit, which was actually all I truly wanted to do. That was my favorite part of his visit. Us just sitting and talking while I worked the needles, snacking on cheese and crackers, just enjoying each others company. It was a nice week with a friend. Reminds you that good friends don’t need to overly impress, or drag you everywhere. Good friends just want to be with you. Good friends sit with you while you knit :)

We did contact the realtor about my little white house. Haven’t heard back, but I’m not surprised. I mean, I can barely pay the rent each month for my little apartment, let alone ask for a mortgage on a house, despite whatever programs are out there. So, we press on, knitting bears and selling my book and patterns bundle. I’ll get there someday. If I work hard, I’ll get there. Have faith, young man. Have hope. You’ll get your little white house someday.

It’s a nice warm Saturday. Gonna head back out and get the needles back to work :)

If you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

Audrey Hepburn’s Teddy Bear

IMG_0979This little guy was done up in a great color of brown from Lionbrand’s Wool Ease in cocoa. Giving the bear a mock sweater done in a hushed pink gave the little guy a sophisticated hint of confection, like a chocolate covered cherry. Then I started thinking, the trimming of grey would give a nod to European fashion in the 50’s. The Dior Days of the Catwalk. Paris. Audrey Hepburn’s Teddy Bear. Yeah. Why not? I could see Holly Golightly as a young thing clutching this fashionable teddy bear. His pouting face claiming, “Someone told me I’m beautiful….and I think I believe it.”

IMG_0982He measures 12″ high from to to head, made entirely of Lionbrand’s Wool Ease so he’s wash friendly, and comes with a signed card by me.

I like this little guy. He’s a touch more refined than me, that’s for sure. A little bear a little girl can take to Tiffany’s to dream over diamonds….

To adopt him, click here.

The pattern for this bear is included in my book and pattern bundle

If you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

A Little Grey to Brighten Your Day

IMG_0971I’ve really fallen BACK in love with Lionbrand’s Wool Ease. I was up at Joann’s snagging some more yarn when I saw an entire row of Wool Ease. Now, I’m usually strangely focused when I buy yarn. I zero in on what I want, snag it, rush out the checkout and head home to work. This was one of those days I stood back and actually saw all of the colors side by side. The greens, pinks, greys, browns, and cremes all worked so well together. Sitting side by side in a line, they all had that same colorful connection that caused me to think……bodies, hats and scarves all done up mix matched in these lovely colors. What a great way to close out the year. A nod to the past, a hint at the future….a tidy culmination of moving towards the next step.

This little guy was done up in greys and browns and creme. Adorable, soft, and made with Lionbrand’s Wool Ease, so he’s wash friendly for the little ones in your life. He measures 12″ tall from toe to head and comes with a signed card by me.

IMG_0973oh! My friend Butch is not included. HOWEVER, the pattern for this bear IS included in my book and pattern bundle.

Just click here to adopt the bear….not Butch.

madman6x9cover

 

If you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

The Open Door…..

My friend Butch and I were headed to the supermarket when I piped up.

“Wanna see my little white house?” Of course I’m referring to the little house for sale that I’ve been pining over quite a few weeks now. The one who’s back porch I’ve taken to sitting on in moments of much needed reflection. Don’t worry. No one lives there. Yes, I imagine I could be trespassing, but as long as its vacant, I’m offering that little house a since of needed companionship, and in return it’s little back porch hands in return a place of refuge to sit and dream and think that possibly that the little white house could one day be mine.

IMG_0956We rolled up into the drive way. No one around. Mid day. Perfect weather. We went up to peeking into the windows. It’s rather hard to see inside, the angles of the walls, the height of the windows, you only get a sense of the inside. I was anxious to show him the back porch that I love so much. That’s all I’ve every been able to experience and enjoy.

And as we creaked open the screen door, we both quickly spied the same sight. The back door was wide open. He quickly approached, stuck his head inside. “Hello? Is anyone here?”

I stood timidly at the edge of the screened porch. Wide eyed and mouth agape. He said, “There’s no one here. Wanna go inside?” Do I dare? Sitting on the back porch is one thing, but this is different. I mean, I don’t have the money to buy it, so what if someone should come along and as what I was doing there? What would I say?

“Don’t you wanna see?”

I softly moved up the steps, my breath a little shaky. Never in a million years had I ever thought that I would ever be able to even step inside. Like when dreams come true. You shake your head, you bow in some sort of praise, you disbelieve.

IMG_0960I stepped into the back of the house and suddenly…..I don’t know. I felt embraced. I felt warm and right with the world. I quietly placed my hands on the walls as I moved through the little house and felt as though it touched me back. I stood in the center of the living room before the fireplace, feeling comfort for the first time in a long time. Like when you fall in love with someone and they finally kiss you. It was as if the house glowed, showed itself to me, batted its window lashes at me and bared its soul for me to caress; as if it had taken a fancy to me. Butch commented, “you look bewildered. You’re shaking!”

“I’m nervous!”

“Why?”

“It’s not every day you find your soul mate…..”

Some take to houses like they do friendships. Relationships. I’ve mentioned before, this is my Howard’s End.

After wandering around the house,feeling the beauty that you do when you get hugged by a comforting loved one, we finally decided to leave.

And as we approached his car, I looked back at the house and felt I needed to protect it. I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t want to leave her unattended. So, I called the realtor.

“My name is Gregory. I just wanted to let you know I’m at the house on Garvin Street for sale and I thought I’d let you know……well, the back door is wide open and I love that little house and I thought I’d let you know so that no one comes in and hurts her…. the house, I mean.”

“Are you serious? Really? Are you sure? I mean, I locked it up tight the last I was there a few days ago. Were there any cars there? Anyone at all?”

“No, It’s open. And I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of walking through it to take a look. :)”

She laughed. “And don’t you love it?”

I smiled brightly, “Yes! Yes, I do! I really do love that house! Well, I need to run, but I just wanted to let you know that the house was open so you could come by and close it up.”

“Thank you SO much for letting me know. That was very nice of you! I can’t imagine why it would be open. But, thank you again for letting me know!”

IMG_0969And before we left I asked Butch to take a picture of me on the back porch. Something to strive for, something to dream about, something I could stare at and make real. And something about my smile in this picture. I smile often, of course, but something about my smile just…….it’s content. Not forced. It’s genuinely at ease and in its place.

And Butch and I went to the supermarket as planned, me rather quiet in that whimsical frame of mind, but despite what was said, nor wasn’t, I just looked at him and smiled, and he did the same. The thought was there. You couldn’t deny it. That beautiful spirit of a home left itself open so I could come see her, pay her a visit, so that we could get to know each other. That open door was there for a reason.

I’ll strive for my lovely little white house, selling my bundled books and patterns. The proceeds all go to helping me walk finally through that open door.

I’ll be dreaming tonight of my one true love that I finally got to meet, finally got to know and hug and spend time with.

That ol’ girl will be mine, hopefully someday :)

madman6x9coverIf you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

 

Donegal Bear II

IMG_0955This is another bear made with the Donegal wool that was sent to me from Ireland. This time, the little guy was done up in grey with a white mock sweater. Now, the mock sweater, hat and scarf are all done in Lionbrand’s Fisherman’s wool. And of course, the Donegal is 100% virgin wool. He’s a nice plump blear. Soft and sqeezable. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. Click here if you’d like to adopt him. There’s only one!

The pattern for this bear is also available in my book and pattern bundle.

madman6x9coverIf you’d like to buy my book and pattern bundle on craftsy, click here. The bundle is a pdf that contains not only my book, “MAD MAN KNITTING -or- the waiter and the fly,” but four of my patterns. The bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear dressed up in a mock sweater with hat and scarf.

If you’d like to buy it directly from me, click here. Just be sure your email is correct in check out, that’s the email address I’ll be sending it to.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

 

You’re a Filthy View

I was just reading an article about a man nearby in Ft. Lauderdale who was arrested for feeding the homeless. Ok. You can read the article here, if you want more info, but I want to get a little closer to something that burned me when I read the comments on the article. You can look at the logistics and legalities and all of that in your own manner of thinking, but it was THE COMMENTS that set me to writing this post.

“the law is not cruel at all.  Just sets some regulation of where you can feed these bums.”

“you can quit your job, eat better than most working people, see any specialist in the healthcare field you need, have dental work done, talk on your free cell phone, put your child in day care while you “look for a job” with the gas card they gave you to fill up your car,  lay down at night in the home they pay the rent for that I could not even afford and remain nice and warm with the heating assistance they provide.”

“either put them on a work program or in a mental institution or run them out of town”

So that’s what people tend to think. He’s an alcoholic. He’s mentally ill. He’s lazy. Let’s get something perfectly clear before we embark any further on anything I have to say. It can happen to any of you, any one of you at any time without hesitation. And it can happen quickly. If you’re financially not prepared for upset, then watch out. You’re next. What’s worse? Once you’re in that situation these are the views that people think of you. “Get a job!” you hear it thrown at you all the time. You hear it biting at you often, and sometimes you just want to scream, “THEN GIVE ME ONE!” And another bit of warning, it can take a second in life to make it happen…..and years, I tell you, YEARS to recover from it. It’s taken me four years now, and I’m just barely getting by. The world looks at you with distrust, distaste and a sense of blind acknowledgement. “God, why are these guys always ASKING me for something? Why are they always BOTHERING me???? GET A JOB!”

At some point in that life, you do give up. You just want to go from one day to the next. One meal, to the next. You forget anything at all about wanting anything more. Security? That’s luxury.

Sorry this post is so…disjointed. I’m not in my right mind. I was SO PISSED by what people thought of the homeless MAN that I just started getting angry and I had to let it out. The homeless in your city are as unique as the people who view them. Some of them want out, some of them want to live from one day to the next, and some of them don’t care anymore and slip into whatever intoxicant helps them forget what’s happened.

It’s easier if you’re a woman. Easier if you’re a woman with a child. But, if you’re a man? Forget it. You’re just another placard photo for someone to snicker at when get off the highway. You’re just another nuisance that bothers people. You’re another road side attraction to roll your eyes at with boredom.

I was once in Walgreens and a woman came rushing in loud and wild asking for a manager. “Some homeless guy outside YOUR store just asked me for change!!!!!”

I, being who I am, piped up and said, “OH MY GOD!!! Did you give him any????”

She replied, “NO! OF COURSE NOT!”

I asked, “DID HE ATTACK YOU????”

“NO!” She said, “I RAN IN HERE!!!”

And I just whimsically asked, “Then what’s the problem?”

“HE was bothering ME.”

So maybe that’s what my question should really be…..is there a problem with the homeless in America? Or are you just BOTHERED by the homeless? Is that what the issue is? I mean, we can find a gazillion ways to help them, but it seems, in turn, what people REALLY want to do with the homeless is to no longer have to be BOTHERED by them. Not help them, not find ways to get the ones WHO WANT out some help, but just no longer have to BOTHER with them. (And don’t mention shelters. You’re better off in jail than in a shelter. In jail, you have protection. Shelters are anarchy and fair game.) I was lucky. I found a way out. And dammit, if it didn’t take every ounce of fighting I had.

We don’t want you feeding the homeless because we don’t want to have to LOOK at them. Push them to the edge of town. Just….do something with them somewhere else. Our pretty views can’t be burdened by something so filthy.

Sorry. I’m just…..PISSED!

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!